The Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says Papua New Guinea’s relations with the Philippines is friendly and strong.
He was speaking at an occasion to mark the Philippines 121st independence anniversary on Sunday night in Port Moresby.
Prime Minister Marape said Philippines was one of the first countries to formalize diplomatic relations with PNG before it gained independence in 1975.
“We value our diplomatic and bilateral relationship with the government and people of the Philippines.
“Tonight I am happy to be here to grace you on your occasion to mark the 121st anniversary of independence.
“We value every foreign relationships we have and especially those who are closer to home.
“We have very good relationship with Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Solomon Islands Vanuatu, other the other Pacific Island nations, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, China, Japan and of course Philippines,’’ said Prime Minister Marape.
He said PNG is in a region that is rich in cultural and ethnic biodiversity, marine and natural resource which promote and harness trade and commerce.
“So Papua New Guinea is so privileged for its divine placing. We are placed in the midst of all these important nations around us.
“And we appreciate our strategic placing and we intend to as we go into the future we want to make our country and relationship with all other countries a safe and secure hub for business and socialization’’.
“That is something that we intend to harness. As a government that has assumed office not so long ago we don’t intend to chase out every guest in our country.
“We intend to make all our friends visit and stay very hospitable and enjoyable in our country,’’ he said.
Prime Minister Marape also told the diplomatic community who were present on the occasion, that the change of government was by like-minded leaders with a vision to change and strengthen PNG’s relations with its business and development partners.
“What you saw last week was a very polite revelation of a mindset change’’. “That is a new evolution and breed of young leaders coming into play.
“Our intention is very clear. If PNG is rich, healthy and happy than all its citizens and friends of PNG residing in our country will be happy, wealthy and safe.
“It is and will be a win-win situation for everyone. We need to make our country grow strong and when it is economically strengthened every partner in our country will feel the impact of a stronger and prosperous PNG”.
“So we are here to give you the assurance that your safety is our utmost priority and is given the attention it deserves.
“If in 10 to 15 years’ time you do not feel safe in Port Moresby, I would assess myself as having failed my country big time.
“So we are walking towards that path and we encourage every one of you to offer a hand.
“For those of you who are doing business we encourage you to continue doing business, and we will be investor friendly.
“But we also expect you to be friendly to the demands of our society and making sure you are compliant to all laws in the country,’’ said Prime Minister Marape.
He also urged the investors not to pay special incentives to public servants, ministers or any way working in the government system.
“We want to get rid of bribery and every other system that is an impediment to the development and service delivery in our country.
“You follow the laws, do your business and pay your fair share of tax to the country and we all are happy with it. “We don’t expect any special favor from any one.
“I am happy that the government of Philippines is talking about helping PNG to grow rice.
“We welcome that and are looking forward to the rice planting trials being conducted with our government,’’ he said.
Prime Minister Marape said he was happy to see the progress of a trial rice production in partnership with the governments of PNG and the Philippines and the Pacific Adventist University at 14 mile outside Port Moresby.